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China will incur a grain shortfall of nearly 25 billion kilograms in 2005,
YINCHUAN, June 17 Asia Pulse - China will incur a grain shortfall of nearly 25 billion kilograms in 2005, according to a forecast made by Deputy Director of the State Grain Bureau Zeng Liying here on June 16 at a national conference on grain regulation work.

Zeng predicted that the countrys grain output in 2005 will keep at the same level as or increase slightly over that in 2004. Meanwhile, the domestic grain consumption, which has increased steadily at an annual rate of nearly 1 percent in recent years, will exceed 490 billion kilograms this year.

According to statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics, Chinas grain output stood at 469.47 billion kilograms in 2004, up from 430.668 billion kilograms in 2003. The 38.8 billion kg increase was the largest annual increase in history.

Zeng attributed the turnaround from five consecutive years of decline mainly to the central government policies in favor of grain production.

According to Zeng, China's grain consumption in 2004 totaled about 490 billion kilograms, with a shortfall of some 20 billion kilograms in the year. The shortfall was made up mainly by state grain inventories, the deputy director said.

China is expecting a bumper summer grain harvest this year. The winter wheat output is expected to reach 90 billion kilograms, an increase of 4 billion kilograms over last year. Harvesting of winter wheat is still going on and has been completed in many main growing areas.

It is still early to predict the autumn grain output, the majority of China's annual grain output. The paddy rice planting area this year is likely to increase moderately over last year, but the unit yield may be smaller than that last year. As whole, the paddy price crop this year may keep at the same level as that last year if the weather is normal. The maize crop may be smaller this year owing to adverse weather and also in consideration of the planting acreage.

Zeng specified that by variety, China will be short of wheat and paddy rice this year, but the supply will be ensured in consideration of the state reserves. Maize, meanwhile, will be oversupplied.
MGR Archive 19.6.2005
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Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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